by Chris Johnson, Washington Blade
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has come out against the nomination of Mark Green. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has become the latest to come out against the confirmation of Mark Green over the nominee’s anti-LGBT views, urging his fellow members of the Democratic caucus to reject his appointment as Army secretary.
“I will oppose Mr. Green’s nomination and urge all my colleagues – Republicans and Democrats alike – in the Senate to do so as well,” Schumer said. “If President Trump is serious about his pledge to be a president for all Americans, he should abandon consideration of Mr. Green for this position and nominate someone who can faithfully lead and represent all members of the United States Army.”
In addition to Green’s anti-LGBT views, Schumer cited the nominee’s comments against Muslims and in support of constricting access to birth control.
“While I deeply appreciate and applaud his record of service to this nation, I feel that Mr. Green’s intolerant, extreme and deeply disturbing views, and disparaging comments toward the LGBTQ community, Muslims, Latinos and other groups of Americans – all of whom play important roles in the Army and in our country – are dangerous to morale, cohesion and readiness of our Armed Services and the fabric of America,” Schumer said.
As a Tennessee state legislator, Green spearheaded that would have barred municipalities from enacting pro-LGBT non-discrimination ordinances and another bill seeking to bar transgender students from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity.
During a town hall event in Tennessee before the Chattanooga Tea Party last year, Green equated being transgender to having a “disease,” a view major medical organizations have rejected. The LGBT media watchdog GLAAD also uncovered audio of Green on an online radio show in which he said he wants to “crush evil” by keeping transgender women from the restroom, comparing them to ISIS.
Nominated by President Trump last month, Green may not have sufficient support for confirmation as a result of a campaign that LGBT rights supporters launched targeting him over his anti-LGBT views. On Tuesday, CNN reported the nomination of Trump’s Army secretary is “in serious jeopardy, and he could be withdrawing as soon as this week.” According to the report, the nomination is in jeopardy as a result of concerns on both sides of the aisle.
Among those who have expressed concerns over Green is Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain (R-Ariz.). Although McCain didn’t express outright opposition to Green, the senator said he’s troubled by “a broad variety” of the nominee’s comments “concerning the Muslim faith, concerning the LGBT community, other issues according to the comments he has made in the past.”
Also opposing Green is House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who called on Trump to recall nomination, 31 other House Democrats, Muslim Advocates and 22 current and former faculty members at service academies, war colleges and other military universities.